Optimizing WordPress on Servebolt

Congratulations on your decision to move or set up your WordPress site on Servebolt. Our performance specialists have a set of standard tasks when setting up or moving a site to Servebolt. These tasks are not secret, nor complicated. Follow this to-do list to make sure your WordPress is as fast as possible with Servebolt hosting.

1. Remove unused and unnecessary plugins

We start by removing plugins that are no longer necessary when running our hosting. The most common plugins we remove are caching plugins, optimization plugins, and security plugins.

Caching plugins

Caching plugins is not something you should use for performance. Read about how caching works in WordPress.

We start by removing all caching plugins:

  • W3 Total Cache
  • WP Super Cache
  • WP Rocket

These plugins often make their own folders, so be sure to remove folders and files like these:


Optimization plugins

Optimization should be done in the code, and not by some kind of parser that runs in PHP. This will slow down your site.

Remove these plugins:

  • Autoptimize
  • WP Rocket

Security plugins

WordPress security is not something you can add as a plugin. Security plugins are a false security. The way to handle WordPress security is to keep everything updated and make strong, unique and long passwords. An external WAF (Web application firewall) is the way to go if you want enhanced security. We strongly recommend Cloudflare Pro, and we’re also a Cloudflare Optimized Partner.

We remove all security plugins from WordPress:

  • WordFence
  • iThemes Security
  • All In One WP Security & Firewall

Other plugins

Plugins you don’t need or use should not only be deactivated but completely removed.

2. Create a new .htaccess

Most of the plugins above do edits to the .htaccess, and some make the .htaccess file way to large. Keep .htaccess  clean, a small .htaccess  file is a very good idea for performance. 

Single site WordPress

#Begin WordPress
  <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
    RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
#End WordPress

Multisite WordPress


RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
#add a trailing slash to /wp-admin
RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?wp-admin$ $1wp-admin/ [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
RewriteRule ^ - [L]
RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(wp-(content|admin|includes).*) $2 [L]
RewriteRule ^([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(.*\.php)$ $2 [L]
RewriteRule . index.php [L]


RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
#add a trailing slash to /wp-admin
RewriteRule ^wp-admin$ wp-admin/ [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
RewriteRule ^ - [L]
RewriteRule ^(wp-(content|admin|includes).*) $1 [L]
RewriteRule ^(.*\.php)$ $1 [L]
RewriteRule . index.php [L]

What about redirects? Well, if you have a few redirects then doing them in .htaccess  is fine. If you have a lot of redirects then using a plugin like Yoast SEO Premium or Redirection is a good idea. Then the redirects are done in PHP and kept in the database and are easier to maintain.

3. Optimize the database

Our plugin Servebolt Optimizer does a lot of good things to the performance of WordPress sites, including adding indexes to the right database tables. Our plugin is continuously developed, and new indexes are added. 

Give us your feedback on this article